Probing the charge of a quantum dot with a nanomechanical resonator

H. B. Meerwaldt, G. Labadze, B. H. Schneider, A. Taspinar, Ya. M. Blanter, H. S. J. van der Zant, G. A. Steele
2012 Physical Review B  
We have used the mechanical motion of a carbon nanotube (CNT) as a probe of the average charge on a quantum dot. Variations of the resonance frequency and the quality factor are determined by the change in average charge on the quantum dot during a mechanical oscillation. The average charge, in turn, is influenced by the gate voltage, the bias voltage, and the tunnel rates of the barriers to the leads. At bias voltages that exceed the broadening due to tunnel coupling, the resonance frequency
more » ... sonance frequency and quality factor show a double dip as a function of gate voltage. We find that increasing the current flowing through the CNT at the Coulomb peak does not increase the damping, but in fact decreases damping. Using a model with energy-dependent tunnel rates, we obtain quantitative agreement between the experimental observations and the model. We theoretically compare different contributions to the single-electron induced nonlinearity, and show that only one term is significant for both the Duffing parameter and the mode coupling parameter. We also present additional measurements which support the model we develop: Tuning the tunnel barriers of the quantum dot to the leads gives a 200-fold decrease of the quality factor. Single-electron tunneling through an excited state of the CNT quantum dot also changes the average charge on the quantum dot, bringing about a decrease in the resonance frequency. In the Fabry-P\'{e}rot regime, the absence of charge quantization results in a spring behaviour without resonance frequency dips, which could be used, for example, to probe the transition from quantized to continuous charge with a nanomechanical resonator.
doi:10.1103/physrevb.86.115454 fatcat:hrjkjsxrqnfkpphlxsws4i7e4u